SCENE IN LA

 

BY

 

STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH

 

February 2018

 

Valentine’s Day is coming fast! Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theatres this month:

           

OPENING

“Dessa Rose” tells the story of a young black woman (a runaway slave) and a young white woman (an abandoned mother) and their journey to acceptance in the antebellum South, as they tell their story to their grandchildren. Written by Lynn Ahrens, with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and directed by James Esposito, it runs February 2 through February 25 at the Chromolume Theatre at the Attic in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-510-2688 or visit www.crtheatre.com.

 

“Occupant” Unapologetically flamboyant, New York sculptor Louise Nevelson’s life was one marked by intrepid artistic triumphs as well as deep inner turmoil. In this play, both her public accomplishments and private emotional conflicts are thoroughly examined by an unnamed interviewer who questions the posthumous Nevelson with an unabashed scrutiny. From her unique vantage point beyond the grave, Nevelson answers his queries with a clarity born of the distance provided by death. The result is a touching, humorous, and honest tribute to a woman who was a pioneer for free-thinking females everywhere, but also stood strongly on her own as one of the 20th century’s greatest artistic minds. Written by Edward Albee, and directed by Heather Chesley, it runs February 2 through March 4 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.garrymarshalltheatre.org.

 

“Pizza Man” Step inside a Hollywood loft for an experience where instead of viewing the action from a distance, you become immersed in it! In this site-specific production, the audience themselves are part of the 1980s apartment where Julie Rodgers is on the verge of a breakdown. Her boss made a pass at her that she rejected, so now Julie is without a job, broke, disillusioned, and drinking. Her roommate, Alice, is at an equally low point coping with romantic troubles. The pair of Los Angeles women decide to take revenge on the entire opposite sex, and the unsuspecting pizza delivery man is just the vehicle for this descent into comedic chaos! Written by Darlene Craviotto, and directed by Jamie Lou, it runs February 2 through February 24 at the Loft Space in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.PIZZAMAN.eventbrite.com.

 

“Two Fisted Love” It’s 2008 and Hollywood A-lister, Caroline Connors, having recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, braves her descent into an uncertain future while attempting to navigate her relationships with her ultra-conservative and less than politically correct husband Kevin, and her defiant and idealistic daughter Rachel.Written and directed by David Sessions, it runs February 3 through March 11 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.twofistedlove.com.

 

“Henry V” tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years' War, and the historical events during the years 1398-1485, particularly the struggles for the British throne between warring branches of the Plantagenet family and Britain’s ongoing wars with France. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs February 4 through April 6 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 or visit www.ANoiseWithin.org.

 

“Prez” featuring Leslie A. Jones, this play is set in a 1959 hotel room in Paris, and paints an intimate portrait of Lester Young, a unique jazzman whose warm, lyrical style brought him fame, first with the Count Basie band, then with the likes of Nat ‘King’ Cole, Oscar Peterson, Teddy Wilson, and his best friend and alter ego, Billie Holiday. Written by Willard Manus, and directed by Daniel E. Keough, it runs February 4 through March 11 at the Write Act Repertory @ The Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

 

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” the dysfunctional but wealthy Pollitt family gathers to celebrate aging patriarch, Big Daddy’s, birthday. Lurking under every practiced interaction between the Pollitts is an ulterior motive. Under every smile, a challenge. And under every statement, the specter of mendacity. For the Pollitts, the truth is as hazy as the late summer sun in Mississippi, and sometimes the only way to find it is to journey through the lies. Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by Kenneth James Billington, it runs February 8 through March 30 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

 

“Great Expectations” David Mynne portrays all of the novel’s colorful characters including terrifying Magwitch, kindly Joe Gargery, eccentric Miss Havisham, cold and beautiful Estella, pompous lawyer Mr. Jaggers and Pip's wise and spluttering friend Herbert Pocket. Providing all the sound effects himself, Mynne traverses the difficult line of staying true to the story but adding some modern-day anarchy, thanks to his natural ability for physical comedy, and keeping it as strangely spooky as the original tale. Written by Charles Dickens, and directed by Simon Harvey, it runs February 8 through February 11 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/GE.

 

“Trust” This is a contemporary dramatic comedy set against a backdrop of the rock music scene. In a world ruled by love, lust and lying, a spiral unwinds. Cody is a rising star musician. Becca is his fiancée. Gretchen is a dressmaker, fitting Becca for her wedding dress. Leah is a rock star past her prime who Cody meets while on the road. Roy is a public radio announcer smitten with the young bohemian, Holly. As the lives and loves of these people continue to intersect, attraction gives way to seduction, and secrecy holds sway over truth. Becca and Cody's marriage-to-be grows as rocky as Roy increases his hilariously futile attempts to charm Holly. Gretchen and Leah's past is unearthed, brought on by Gretchen's attraction to Becca. As the final concert of Cody's tour concludes, new bonds have been formed, old wounds remain; friends looking for answers, lovers looking for that elusive word: trust. Written by Steven Dietz, and directed by William Kircher, it runs February 8 through March 31 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

 

“Extremities” Marjorie, is attacked in her home by Raul, but manages to turn the tables on him, tying him up in her fireplace. Her roommates come home to discover the attacker bound with cords, belts and other household items. When Terry and Patricia, Majorie’s roommates, come home, they are shocked and begin discussing how to handle the situation: call the police or take matters into their own hands? The incredibly gripping drama portrays the act of rape and its aftermath as the victim turns the tables on her attacker, reaching a climax of fever pitch suspense. Written by William Mastrosimone, and directed by Jenny Nwene, it runs February 9 through March 31 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

 

“Jack Stevenson, A Decent Man” centers around the exploits of a sex crazed sociopath, who after marrying into wealth, deceitfully attempts to maintain a highfalutin lifestyle while continuing to carry on his sexual indiscretions. Written by Johnny Cannizzaro, and directed by Lee Aronsohn, it runs February 9 through March 31 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

 

“Million Dollar Quartet” Set in Memphis, Tennessee on December 4, 1956, this musical harkens back to when Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” - responsible for launching the careers of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley - brought the four superstars together at the Sun Records storefront studio for the first and only time, resulting in what became known as one of the greatest jam sessions in rock ‘n’ roll history. As such, the legendary event comes to life on stage with an irresistible telling of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations that are both poignant and amusing. Relive the era through a rousing score of rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits such as: “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Fever,” “Walk the Line”, “Sixteen Tons”, “Who Do You Love?”, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”, “Hound Dog” and more. Written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, with music by David Lamoureux, and directed by David Lober, it runs February 9 through February 18 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach, then February 23 through March 4 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets call 714-589-2770 Ext. 1 (for Redondo) or 562-916-8500 (for Cerritos) or visit www.3dtshows.org (for any show).

 

“Requiem” Is the story of a man who has lost his faith in society. Troubled by his past, his current job and relationship. He struggles to fit in and subsequently looks to a firearm for answers. A comedic snapshot of an American workforce and their plight to exist in the nightmare. Written by Carlos Javier Castillo, and directed by Hector Negrete, it runs February 9 through March 31 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

 

“The Speed of Darkness” Joe is a decorated hero of the Vietnam War and owns a prosperous construction business in South Dakota. When Joe suddenly finds himself nominated as man of the year by his town, he is faced with an unwelcome amount of attention, which begins to challenge his ability to walk the tenuous line of normality on which he has come to live. Emotionally numbed by the fallout of war and with rumblings about family scars, Joe's home life faces upheaval with the sudden appearance of an old war buddy, Lou. The presence of his mysterious and mentally disturbed friend puts Joe and his family on edge as whispers of past misdeeds begin to unravel, all which he has worked to build. Written by Steve Tesich, and directed by William Alderson, it runs February 9 through March 18 at the River Street Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.riverstreettheatre.yapsody.com/event/index/171616.

 

“A Walk in the Woods” This witty two-hander concerns a relationship between two arms negotiators and what happens when they step out of the war room and into the woods. Written by Lee Blessing, and directed by Ken Sawyer, it runs February 9 through March 18 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

 

“Burt… A Homeless Odyssey This show pays homage to people who aren’t recognized. The creative souls, artists and street-people. The lost and forgotten we pass-by on the street and don’t give a second glance. But guess what? In this play, we are going to stop and listen to them. Written by Sam Henry Kass, and directed by Ronnie Marmo, it runs February 10 through March 31 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

 

“The City of Conversation” It’s 1979, and Washington, D.C. socialite Hester Ferris is notorious for her posh dinner parties that can change the course of politics. But when her son turns up with an ambitious girlfriend and a newly minted political agenda, it ignites a family divide that spans 30 years and six presidential administrations. A timely and moving look at a family forced to choose between defending opposing political views and keeping their family together. Sharon Lawrence and Meredith Baxter star. Written by Anthony Giardina, and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs February 10 through February 25 at the Ensemble Theatre Company at the New Vic in Santa Barbara. For tickets call 805-965-5400 or visit www.etcsb.org.

 

“4Play: Sex in a Series” Celebrate Valentine’s Day (and the rest of February and March) with this delightful romantic comedy that blurs the lines between art and life, gay and straight. New York City’s trip. theater ensemble kicks off its move to L.A. with the West Coast premiere of the company’s uniquely theatrical hit production, direct from a sold out run in Chicago — the not-so-simple story of boy meets girl, boy meets boy, girl meets girl, and all the little things that can ruin a perfectly good dinner party. trip.: a place we have not been before. Written by Graham Brown with Nathan Faudree and Lisa Roth, and directed by Graham Brown, it runs February 14 through March 17 at the Trip. @ The Actors Company in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.tripnyc.org.

 

“A Streetcar Named Desire” This radical re-envisioning of Streetcar will feature a multicultural cast and modern setting, pushing on the play’s present-day relevance by stripping away decades of “Southern gothic gauze” to reveal striking themes of class, race, and gender—reinvigorating the classic which shocked audiences in its debut 70 years ago. By placing a traditional, 1940s era Blanche within a contemporary, multicultural and urban environment familiar to modern audiences but foreign to her, this new production highlights the pertinence of this play for our divided America. Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs February 15 through March 25 at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6801 or visit www.BostonCourt.com.

 

“Don’t Hug Me, We’re Family” The host of a radio show devoted entirely to ice fishing loses his sole sponsor while his wife, a popular host of a book show, has numerous sponsors, putting the couple at odds. Issues escalate and are compounded when two fish-out-of-water Brooklyn Italians come to the rural Minnesota town, buy the radio station and a hotel, and turn everything on its ear. Written by Phil Olson, with music by Paul Olson, lyrics by Phil Olson, and directed by Doug Engalla, it runs February 16 through March 25 at the T.U. Studios in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-850-9254 or visit www.donthugme.brownpapertickets.com.

 

“Nice Fish” On a frozen Minnesota lake, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It's the end of the fishing season, and two old friends are out on the ice, angling for something big — something down there that is pure need. Something that might just swallow them whole. Written by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins, and directed by Rob Brownstein and Anita Khanzadian, it runs February 16 through March 25 at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-765-8732 or visit www.interactla.org.

 

“Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical” is a hilarious, outrageous and fabulous musical road trip featuring some of the most classic dance songs of all time including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” and "I Love the Nightlife." Set in Australia, PRISCILLA follows three drag queens as they drive across the outback in a rundown old bus searching for love and fulfillment and end up discovering what true friendship really means. Written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, with music by Jennifer Lin, and directed by Jessica Hanna, it runs February 16 through March 25 at the Celebration Theatre @ the Lex Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

 

“Talley's Folly” Set in a deserted Victorian boathouse (a “folly”) in Lebanon, Missouri in 1944, Matt Friedman has arrived to plead his love to Sally Talley, the susceptible but uncertain daughter of the Talley family. Telling his innermost secrets and in return, learning hers, Matt gradually awakens Sally to the possibilities of a life together, two kindred spirits who, in their union, will find a wholeness rare in human relationships. Written by Langford Wilson, and directed by Richard Kilroy, it runs February 16 through March 11 at the Hudson MainStage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4412 or visit www.plays411.com/talleysfolly.

 

“The New Colossus” tells the story of forced migration and the constant struggle for survival and dignity in an uncertain and hostile environment. The members of the acting company are from different parts of the world; they tell their stories, each in a different language, and each in different dress. Written by The Actors’ Gang Ensemble, and directed by Tim Robbins, it runs February 17 through March 24 at the Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.theactorsgang.com.

 

“Allegiance” tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor. Sam Kimura seeks to prove his patriotism by fighting for his country in the war, but his sister, Kei, fiercely protests the government’s treatment of her people. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, Allegiance follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves. Written by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, with music by Jay Kuo, and directed by Snehal Desai, it runs February 21 through April 1 at the Aratani Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.AllegianceMusical.com.

 

“The Happiest Song Plays Last” chronicles a year in the life of two kindred souls as they search for love, meaning and a sense of hope in a quickly changing world. At the dawn of the Arab Spring in an ancient Jordanian town, Elliot, an Iraq War veteran, struggles to overcome the traumas of combat by taking on an entirely new and unexpected career: an action-film hero. At the same time, halfway around the world in a cozy North Philadelphia kitchen, his cousin, Yasmin, takes on a heroic new role of her own: as the heart and soul of her crumbling community, providing hot meals and an open door for the needy. Written by Quiara Alegría Hudes, and directed by Edward Torres, it runs February 22 through March 19 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

 

“Jackie Unveiled” Hailed as an icon of style, grace and strength, Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy Onassis was known for her alluring mystery and piercing sensuality. Much has been written and said about America’s most famous First Lady. However, one detail usually omitted from the story is that she was human. This one woman show dares to peek behind the façade of America’s most private public figure. Written by Tom Dugan, and directed by Jenny Sullivan, it runs February 22 through March 11 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Jackie.

 

“Year of the Rooster” Gil is a loser. He works at McDonald's, lives with his ailing mother, and hasn't had a girlfriend since...ever. But that's all about to change. He's been secretly training (and drugging) a rooster to fight. And Odysseus Rex (aka Odie) is the baddest barnyard bird there is. Gil has so much faith in Odie's abilities that he bets everything on him -- but victory and revenge may not yield the delicious spoils he anticipates. A fiercely comic play about cockfighting, connections, and clawing your way to the top. Written by Olivia Dufault, and directed by McKerrin Kelly, it runs February 22 through March 24 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or visit www.theatreofnote.com.

 

“Daddy Long Legs” An intimate musical about a spirited orphan girl who is sent to a prestigious college by a mysterious benefactor. Jerusha’s heart-warming journey to independence, education and romance is chronicled in a wealth of witty letters and glorious songs. Written by John Caird, based on the novel by Jean Webster, with music by Paul Gordon, and directed by Mary Jo DuPrey, it runs February 23 through March 11 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

 

“Wicked Pagan Gays” Jeff is a 35-year-old atheist who has recently moved to Los Angeles to start a new life. Greg is a middle-aged struggling journalist led by "signs from above." When serendipity reunites the former acquaintances, Greg insists their fates are intertwined and they must uncover the details of their shared cosmic destiny. Jeff, ever skeptical, first humors Greg, but soon finds himself second-guessing his core beliefs. Moral questions arise and loyalties are tested as the duo are thrust into a world of child stars, self-help gurus, and baffling gay politics. Born of real-life friends Jeff Dinnell and Greg Archer’s cocktail-fueled debates on God and gays comes this surprisingly thoughtful look at compromise in modern times. Sending up everything from religion to gay culture, steeped in cheeky, fast-paced banter, this play examines the unlikely friendship between two gay men with very different world-views as they embark on a hilarious search for meaning in a bewildering (and possibly sentient), Universe. Written by Jeff Dinnell, and directed by Kiff Scholl, it runs February 23 through March 31 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/wicked.

 

“Waist Watchers the Musical” If you're like the rest of us, perhaps those New Year's resolutions are starting to slip. So what better than getting a group of your friends together to LAUGH OFF a few pounds! We guarantee this will be the easiest weight loss program you have ever gone too - so much fun, you'll want to come back again and again! This hilarious & inspirational musical comedy will leave you laughing so hard, you'll burn more calories than you have all week. Come and dance in your seat or jump right in with a lighthearted look at four women dealing with food, friendship, love, life and sex! Written by Alan Jacobson, with music by Vince Di Mura, lyrics by Alan Jacobson, and directed by Matthew E. Silva, it runs February 27 through March 4 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

           

CONTINUING

 

“Buyer and Cellar” follows a struggling actor named Alex who winds up working for an unnamed show-business legend in her Malibu basement mall. An unlikely friendship develops between the two from which Alex learns profound lessons about himself. Written by Jonathan Tolins, and directed by Stephanie A. Coltrin, it runs through February 11 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

 

“Denim Doves” tells the story of a modest compound nestled deep in the woods of what was once a small Midwestern town, home to five denim-clad sister wives and their naive husband, Penis. When a mysterious sixth wife arrives to join the sisterly Braid, clad in scandalous acid-wash and singing forbidden songs of ancient riot girls, will she compromise the security of this pious sect? The show contains strong sexual themes, brief full-frontal nudity, suggestive humor, and is recommended for audiences ages 16 and up. Written by Adrienne Dawes, with music by Ellen Warkentine, lyrics by Cyndi Williams, and directed by Rosie Glen-Lambert, it runs through February 17 at the Broadwater Theater Complex in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

 

“The Hothouse” A wild, impudent and blisteringly funny look at a government-run mental institution in which the wardens may be madder than the inmates. Under a veil of devilish wit and subversive humor, Harold Pinter's biting political commentary on the perils of unchecked power is as vital and pertinent today as when he first wrote it. Nike Doukas directs a fully partner-cast production. Written by Harold Pinter, and directed by Nike Doukas, it runs through March 11 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

 

“A Love Affair” follows the roller-coaster-ride of a 38-year (and counting) marriage, from the romantic naiveté of a 1950's honeymoon, to the irritation of daily life in the Coming-of-New Age '90's. The successes, the disappointments, the sex, the traumas, the traumas about sex and the budget and the children and the adventure of casting your lot with another human being...for life. Written by Jerry Mayer, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs through March 25 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/a-love-affair.html.

           

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

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